Social Media Guidelines for Senior Administrators

Published: November 6th, 2012

Category: Memos

Dan Williams, Interim Associate Vice President, Public Relations and Marketing

Social media has become a popular and powerful communications tool. Because it is seen as an inexpensive alternative to paid advertising, there has been a rush by colleges and units to adopt social media as a way to reach their various audiences. Social media is, like websites, official university communication, so standards have been established to provide for proper and secure usage. Since social media requires approval from the vice president or designee of the unit, the following guidelines have been developed to assist senior administrators in determining the appropriateness and value of social media usage.

*Will the site support a clear business objective that is consistent with the mission and goals of the unit? It is recommended that a written business plan be required for each social media site.

*Is the site manager trained in the proper use of social media? Experience with personal social media does not qualify a person to manage a site focused on accomplishing specific communications goals. Thoughtful, professional posts and responses are critical to protecting the image of your unit and the university.

*Is the site manager familiar with the UF social media standards, which include web acceptable use policy and UF identity standards?

*Is there sufficient staff time available to manage the site? (Social media is essentially a conversation. It only works if there is regular interaction between posts and comments. The site manager should expect to devote at least an hour a day to keeping the site current, responding to comments and developing engaging content.)

*Could content on the site raise privacy concerns? FERPA, HIPAA and public information law should all be taken into account when posting on social media, and the site manager should be informed in applicable areas of information security.

Once you have evaluated/approved the request, University Relations will register the site and review it for identity compliance. More information is available at or by contacting Bruce Floyd at

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